The Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise recently reached a settlement with the state of Arizona in regards to the Desert Diamond Casino and now the group is ready to begin construction on their resort and casino plans. By the end of the year, a massive expansion will take place after the tribal group has dealt with several legal challenges after announcing in 2009, that they planned on opening a resort and casino near the sports and entertainment district of Glendale.
In 2015, the tribe decided to open the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley but in a limited capacity due to the legal challenges. Now that the tribal group and the state have reached an agreement, work can begin on the 1 million square foot resort. The plans are to include five restaurants, bars and a casino.
CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprises, Andy Asselin, commented on the announcement by stating that this has been a long time coming and the tribe will continue to work with the community to ensure the construction process runs smooth. The development should take close to two years to complete, around 20 months, and have a price tag of $400 million. The current casino will continue to operate as construction begins.
The expansion plans will see the resort be placed north of the current gaming facility. Once completed, the current casino will be used as a warehouse. The new gaming venue will be 75,000 square feet in size which will be more than twice the size of the 35,000-square foot facility being used today. Table games will be on offer including poker and blackjack, along with slot machines.
The Desert Diamond Casino is a Class 2 venue offering only bingo-style slot games. There are no table games at this venue as the tribe was not given a Class 3 gaming license by the state. The tribe was also denied the option to have a liquor license. After being denied the gaming license, the tribe filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona. Several counterclaims were filed by the state in response.
In May of this year, the tribe and the state were able to reach a settlement. The tribe would be allowed to move forward with their expansion project as long as they did not build any gaming venues in Phoenix in the future.